Gardeners in the West Midlands are losing their green fingers as nine in ten young people struggle to identify common garden plants, new research reveals. A study of 2,000 Brits aged 25-35 found that time pressures and lack of knowledge meant that the majority struggle when it comes to nurturing their gardens. Over three quarters of those living in the region couldn’t identify a tulip when shown a picture of one, while 88 per cent struggled with a geranium.

Perhaps that’s why less than 1 per cent of those polled described their gardening skill as ‘very good’.

The study by Origin, a British bi-fold and window designer and manufacturer, found that the traditional style of UK gardens in the region is changing as a result, with the new generation of homeowners favouring minimalist gardens with less maintenance.

Other plants young Brits can’t get to grips with were jasmine, which stumped three quarters of respondents, while 59 per cent couldn’t spot a fuchsia.

Yesterday Ben Brocklesby, Director at Origin, said: “The study shows there is a lack of engagement between the younger generation and gardening, a gap in knowledge that is growing.

“From naming the common flowers to identifying basic gardening tools and processes, it’s important we don’t lose the connection and passion for our outdoor spaces.

“A lack of enjoyment or interest in maintaining a garden usually comes from people not knowing where to start. That’s why nurturing an interest in gardening and showing the rewards that outdoor space can bring is essential, even growing plants in small spaces, such as a window box, can be fun and productive — you just need a little sunshine and some imagination!”

And though 67 per cent could spot a buttercup, a third of under 35’s living in the West Midlands had no idea what a garden hoe looked like.

While nearly half had no idea that a dandelion is a weed, results showed.

Over a quarter of those polled had tried to grow plants, only for them to die just weeks later as a result of not knowing their gardening basics.

Perhaps it’s no wonder then that 55 per cent described themselves as either poor or terrible when it comes to gardening skills and knowledge.

And a further nine in ten said their garden is currently in need of attention. Over a third said that they do ‘the minimum amount possible’ to maintain their outdoor space.

While the younger generation are split when it comes to enjoying gardening or not - 48 per cent don’t really enjoy getting green fingers.

But the gap in knowledge is what is most likely to take its toll – over half of those who don’t like gardening said it was mainly because they are ‘clueless’ around the topic.

In fact, when asked what age people finally get the hang of gardening, respondents said it wasn’t until the age of 40.

As a result, Origin has created a series of ‘how to’ videos with Jack Shilley, who at the age of 19 is already the Director of the Young Horts society and a RHS Chelsea Flower Show Gold winner.

Brocklesby added: “The research has revealed how the millennial generation is struggling to grow a basic pot plant and, in some cases, can’t tell a weed from a flower. That’s why we’ve launched a series of simple ‘how to’ videos to get them started. The series will give them the skills and confidence to keep great British gardens alive, and improve the views from their first homes.”


  1. Weeding
  2. Dead-heading
  3. Cutting the grass
  4. Pruning flowers or plants
  5. Digging flowerbeds
  6. Choosing plants or flowers for the garden
  7. Planting at the right time of year
  8. Watering flowers/plants
  9. Generally keeping a garden clean and tidy
  10. Arranging flowers or plants in flowerbeds
  11. Keeping the plants or flowers alive
  12. Maintaining hanging baskets
  13. Planting vegetables
  14. Digging and preparing a vegetable patch
  15. Fertilizing the garden
  16. Planting flowers or plants
  17. Planting hanging baskets
  18. Building a shed or greenhouse
  19. Watering vegetables
  20. Arranging garden ornaments